U.N. Covenant on Human Rights Criticized at Geneva Parley; Its Deficiencies Outlined

The international covenant on human rights, drafted several months ago by the United Nations Human Rights Commission, has come under sustained criticism in two days of debate here by the social committee of the U.N. Economic and Social Council.

The covenant has been criticized in general by many delegates for what are considered inadequacies and ambiguities, and in particular a general dissatisfaction has been expressed with the Commission’s proposed measures of implementation, especially the failure to provide for the right of petition by individuals against violations of the instrument. Jewish groups enjoying consultative status at the United Nations have asked for this right.

Representatives of Denmark, Belgium and Mexico argued that the covenant would be empty and misleading without this right. British, Belgian and Canadian delegates expressed the view that the deficiencies in the draft were too great to enable the covenant to serve any useful purpose in its present form. The right of petition, by states only, as proposed by the Commission, was upheld by the U.S., France, India and Pakistan. The document, in general, was upheld by the latter four states.

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